By on April 5, 2016

2015 Ford Focus

In an announcement that’s been anticipated for months, Ford Motor Company said today it will build a small car plant in Mexico’s San Luis Potosi state.

Ford will spend $1.6 billion on the facility, which starts construction this summer and will employ 2,800 workers by 2020.

The automaker isn’t saying what vehicles it will produce at the plant, but it’s widely expected that the Focus will move to Mexico after production stops at its Wayne, Michigan facility in 2018. Offshoots of the platform, including a rumored hybrid, could also be produced.

News of automobile manufacturing jobs heading south of the border hit hard in Detroit, where United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams reportedly called the move “a disappointment and troubling.”

Late last year, the UAW ratified new agreements for workers employed by the Big Three automakers. Though entry-level workers saw wage hikes, the contract allowed the automakers to increase vehicle production in other countries, especially that of lower-end models like compact cars.

Workers at Mexico manufacturing plants make less than one-quarter the wages of U.S. auto workers, increasing an automaker’s profits on the end product. Ford already manufactures engines, heavy trucks, and its Fiesta subcompact in Mexico.

In its official release, Ford said it was “boosting small car profitability” and “increasing competitiveness” by investing in the plant.

The freed-up capacity at Ford’s Wayne assembly plant is expected to be used for the next Ranger pickup and Bronco SUV.

[Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg]

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131 Comments on “More Ford Production Heads South of the Border, Down Mexico Way...”


  • avatar

    Is there any comprehensive reliability data compiled out there that points to reliability of an identical vehicle from multiple countries of origin?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Data from a Focus from Wayne vs Saarlouis wouldn’t mean much as there are a bunch of different things that go into each product. You could ask Ford nicely for the data they have on the Mexican vs Michigan Fusion that both sell in the US market, but I doubt that they’ll give it up.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      I can’t speak to automotive, but I have direct experience with other products through work. They weren’t cars but they were complex critical-application electromechanical assemblies with life expectancies measured in years or decades.

      In this case it was for the same products built to the same design in 4 plants located in Belgium, China, Thailand, and the US. Products from all 4 plants were shipped worldwide and used in the same applications. The only real variable was the place they were made.

      I had access to both the internal defect rate in the plants and the failure rate for products in the field.

      For both metrics quality was independent of location but tracked exactly with the age of the production equipment in the facility. Younger was better. This means that the quality of products was from best to worst:

      1. China
      2. Thailand
      3. USA
      (Big Gap)
      4. Belgium

      From this I conclude that quality of manufacture is independent of the geographic location of the plant, and that “European Craftsmanship” is largely a myth.

      Sometimes customers in the US would get a China-made product and call back demanding a “high quality American one”. Har har.

      • 0 avatar
        qfrog

        Quality is a really broad term and I believe that it is possible to manufacture a quality product in many places worldwide IF you put the effort/resources in and don’t try to suck every last cent of profit out of the product to deliver slightly better short term profits.

        I think where China gets the bad rap is from making garbage products that are intended to be junk but be cheap and profitable to manufacture/sell. Once somebody has been burned a few times they look at the made in China sticker and think ugh, not this crap again. Yet, it is possible that China just made the product to the exact specs that were given. The product itself may have been built down to a price point and to maximize profits. China doesn’t discriminate, they’ll manufacture your worst and trashiest junkware. I also believe that China is capable of manufacturing top quality components, but it isn’t the default and it isn’t what China is known for by consumers here in the US.

        • 0 avatar
          OldandSlow

          ” Yet, it is possible that China just made the product to the exact specs that were given. The product itself may have been built down to a price point and to maximize profits”

          That’s been my take on the situation. – Designed and made to a rock bottom price point. –

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Best assembly quality is in Japan.

      Well. Good luck, Ford. I don’t buy Mexican cars. Therefore Fusion is not even on my short list.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        FREE TRADE!

        USA! USA! USA!

        BUY AMERICAN YOU COMMIE BA$STARD$!!!!!

        ‘Murica.

        • 0 avatar
          Freddie

          Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”. In a free market, private interests are guided to serve the greater good.
          Employers in search of cheap labor are bringing jobs to where they are needed the most.
          Let me be blunt. If you were born in the USA, with opportunities and possibilities unprecedented in the history of the world, and at the end of the day all you are good for is semi-skilled assembly work…well I have more sympathy for Jose who didn’t have your opportunities and really needs that job bolting together your next Focus.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            The favoritism (or xenophobia, or racism as the layers of sugar coating peel away) of putting Americans first explicitly because they’re American is the only thing separating American quality of life from that of the six or seven billion people in the rest of the world who are hungrier than we are.

            Honor thy mother and thy father is as old as man. That doesn’t stop at the two of them. Putting Jose ahead of your own is something for which the Romans would have sewn you up in a sack with a dog and thrown you in the river to drown.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Common sense is a beautiful thing.

          • 0 avatar
            TheDoctorIsOut

            You bring up an overlooked point, that if a Mexican has a good paying job in his own country he has no need to illegally cross a border to find one. That should have been the focus of NAFTA years ago along with giving products from Mexico and Canada preferential tariff rates over other countries (i.e., China) so businesses that invest there aren’t so unrestricted in their ability to chase to the bottom dollar as it happened after major American and Japanese abandoned their investment in the maquiladoras that were set up in the 1990’s. I imagine we’ve lost more jobs in the last decade to China and other parts of the Far East than we ever lost to Mexican workers either in Mexico or the U.S.

        • 0 avatar
          Brett Woods

          The beauty of FREE TRADE (and I thought I would be able to cross boarder shop without restrictions ha) is that Ford can grindo, stinko, pumpo, dumpo in Mexico but not pay tax toward roads, sewers, healthcare, pensions in Mexico. They are supposed to pay the tax in their home country, that’s the deal. But they try to leave as much tax money as possible in off shore accounts/shell companies. LOLlololol.

          When they’re all done they divvy up the “forgotten” accounts and make the payoffs. The local used up hobbled work units slink back to the weeds to fester in the left overs.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        You can get an American made Fusion.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          yeah, but you have to go looking for one with a “5” in the VIN, and not an “R.” and AFAIK Flat Rock is only building the S and SE trims.

          • 0 avatar
            tankinbeans

            Serious question: what would R signify? I’ve never seen it and I used to work verifying car insurance.

            1, 4, 5 is USA
            2 is Canada
            3 is Mexico
            6 is Australia
            K is Korea
            J is Japan
            W is Germany
            S is Britain
            Z is Italy (I think)

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            11th VIN character is the assembly plant code. “R” is Hermosillo, “5” is Flat Rock.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          @bball40dtw

          Ok, you know… I like Mazda3 for whatever serves my purpose. But they make them in Mexico now as well. Believe me, Mazda3 made in Mexico will not ornament my driveway.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Bring data or go home, slavuta

      • 0 avatar
        GoWest

        Flat Rock Assembly, MI builds Ford Fusions. UAW Local 3000. Why would you not consider a Fusion?

    • 0 avatar
      Brett Woods

      @MazdaThreeve: “Is there any comprehensive reliability data compiled out there that points to reliability of an identical vehicle from multiple countries of origin?”

      Public? You’re likely to get a blank stare if you ask a salesman where the parts were made, what company does the interior, or where models and sub models are assembled. Let alone find independent data from a watchdog group. In a for-profit-society where people are told pooled money in always mismanaged, who would be gathering and publishing that information? There is a chance though that someone could design a VIN tool app which would somehow seek out and gather that data autonomously. Otherwise we ask amateur enthusiasts for stories.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks for all the great info, guys/gals.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      One comment I read is that the Mexican vehicles were better built. As so many manufacturers are moving to Mexico and a lot of the Japanese are in the process of going there, infrastructure for Automotible manufacturing has become more extensive.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I think that Mexican-made vehicles are on par with those made in the US and Canada, but by no means are Mexican-made vehicles up to snuff with those made in Japan and South Korea.

        The work-ethic in Asia is much higher and better than in North America.

        It’s true that vehicles made in the US and Canada have made great gains in quality after the collapse of 2009, but workers in Mexico are truly dedicated to their jobs. Workers in America only worry about what the CEO gets paid.

        For grins, compare a 4Runner made in Japan to anything made in Detroit. Is it any wonder that there is so much lust for the 4Runner? That is some fine assembly with close tolerances.

        Even the Japanese transplants took a nosedive in quality when they started making them in North America. A Camry made in Louisville is no match for a Camry made in Japan. I own a Camry that was made in Japan, and it still runs great after 27 years.

        I don’t see any old Camry around that were made in the US of A. They’ve probably been recycled 20 years ago.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          You might be interested to note that the Economist ranks Mexico as the hardest working nation, ahead of Japan.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            It doesn’t matter how productive they are if the suppliers provide them with bad quality.

            The same suppliers make the parts for all the Plants in NA regardless of brand and the same quality issues pop up over different brands, i.e. CTS gas pedals, Takata air bags, bad sensors, bad diode boards, rusty frames, weak or cracked welds, and probably much more that the public never hears about.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Fair point. I just hate reading rants from people (not you) about how terrible Mexican or Chinese goods. If you have data to back up the claim, then share it. Otherwise, it’s just your prejudice, for which I no longer have the patience.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            For the record, as I have published before, I am pro-free trade, pro-NAFTA, pro-TPP, pro-cheap illegal-alien labor, pro-tax-inversions, pro-anything that improves my lifestyle.

            My lifestyle sucked until I started living my life in Wal-Mart fashion. My humble abode is adorned with cheap electronics and appliances made outside of the US.

            NAFTA has greatly improved the life style of the vast majority of Americans. Best of all, the stuff is cheap enough to be disposable if it breaks.

            BTW, for our rentals, we started buying Washers, Dryers, Refrigerators, Dishwashers, Air Conditioners, etc made by Samsung, LG and Haier, and they’re much better than anything from the US makers.

            It’s sad when pre-programmed failures and planned-obsolescence are built into the American brands.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            @VoGo

            You’re not getting the point, do you? Besides quality issue… My principle – Japanese cars made in Japan. American cars made in America. If Japanese company opens plant in America and hires hordes of workers – bravo. I welcome that. If American company makes stuff in Mexico and brings it back here – no way I buy this. Yes, I don’t buy GE products because they don’t pay taxes and move engineering to China. This is my protest against NAFTA, etc.

            BTW. When Passat started being assembled in US, Consumer Reports noted quality improvement.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I really AM struggling to understand you, Slavuta. I think you’re saying that you would only buy a car that either:
            – is from an American manufacturer, AND built in the US, or
            – is from a foreign manufacturer, and it doesn’t matter where it’s built.

            Have I got that right? Because it means that you would never buy a Ford built abroad. UNLESS, Ford were to do a tax inversion, move its HQ abroad, and stop paying taxes on global profits to the US. THEN you would love to buy a Ford made abroad, because Ford would be a foreign manufacturer.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I’m going to be very honest, because that’s how I roll –

            I am biased towards buying vehicles that are produced IN Japan (with a high % of Japanese fabricate parts, also).

            I’ve had incredibly reliable service (literally one issue, covered under warranty) from 5 vehicles assembled in Japan, by Japanese manufacturers, having a huge % of such Japanese fabricated parts content.

            When one has 5 trouble-free vehicles (again, one non-maintenance issue covered under warranty) having these things in common, the VIN # beginning with “J” takes on significance.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            “You might be interested to note that the Economist ranks Mexico as the hardest working nation, ahead of Japan.”

            Hell yes they are! Have you seen some of the elaborate tunnels they dig under the border to smuggle drugs and people into the US? Stupid lazy Americans wouldn’t dig that sh!t by hand, they’d have a boring machine down there doing all that hard labor.

            HDC, cheap illegal labor? I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you are not a US born citizen. Either legalize yourelf and start paying taxes like the rest of us or GTFO. Oughta be ashamed of yourself for that statement.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            slavuta,

            what do NAFTA and China have to do with each other?

        • 0 avatar
          OldandSlow

          10-4 on the 4Runner. It may be ugly on the outside, – but the build is head and shoulders above a Durango or Tahoe, if you intend to keep the vehicle past 100,000 miles.

          P.S. That said – I really do like the current generation Tahoe.

  • avatar
    FAHRVERGNUGEN

    So is The Donald going to repeal NAFTA too, or will his Great Wall protect against jobs leaving, or only against people coming in, uninvited? How does THAT make America great again?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    So they are going to Jetta-tize/Kia the Focus, eh? I don’t mind it.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I am still waiting for someone smarter than me to explain how the German makers, with the highest wages in the world, still make money. While the rest seem to be in a race to the bottom. I was sure that some tin pot dictatorship – like Mississippi or Kansas or Surinam – would offer to subsidize every hour of wages with savings made from cutting school funding or pre-natal health care. Yet Ford still went to Mexico. Where the workers run the gauntlet to get there unharmed – so long as their mordida is paid. Billy, you’ve lost your vision.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The Germans:
      a. charge more money and focus on higher-margin product in North America and China.
      b. assemble cars in Europe primarily with guest workers from lower-wage countries.
      c. build those cars with parts made in lower-wage countries.

      • 0 avatar
        qfrog

        To illustrate your point:

        In an Audi showroom you find the following unless I’m mistaken.

        A4, Q5, A6, A7, A8 are still Made in Germany often with an engine from Hungary and sometimes Germany.

        Q5 I believe is slated to move to Mexico soon. A plant that makes the Q5 could probably also build other Modular Longitudinal toolkit cars like the A4.

        Q3 Made in Spain with a Hungarian engine and a Japanese Aisin gearbox.

        Q7 Made in Bratislava again probably with a Hungarian engine.

        A3 and TT Made in Hungary save for e-tron A3 that is still Ingolstadt.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddie

      The lower end VWs are made in Mexico.

      • 0 avatar
        qfrog

        I think the Golf R is scheduled to be built in Puebla too. Not sure if that is lower end or not by your rules.

        Is the Touareg still made in Bratislava?

    • 0 avatar
      genuineleather

      You will notice that few NEW factories are being opened there; when they start from scratch, Eastern Europe is almost always chosen over Germany. Opels are made in Poland, VW/Audis in Slovakia, Mercedes in Hungary, etc.

      Prior to that, BMW and Mercedes exported a lot of entry level models from South Africa.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Germany has already begun down the U.S. Job Reduction Model – whereby their labor boards and corporate management of manufacturers are sending more jobs each year (in a deliberate, pre-agreed upon manner) to places such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia/Yugoslavia, Romania, Turkey, etc.

      Germany is about 10 years behind the U.S. in terms of jobs outsourcing, but will catch up.

  • avatar

    WE NEED TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

  • avatar

    America has fewer than 320,000,000 people.

    Asia has over 3 Billion…

    Labor in Asia is CHEAP.

    America CAN NOT COMPETE WITH SLAVE LABOR

    1/3rd of America’s money leaves our shores.

    We are EXPORTING INFLATION: trading WORTHLESS dollars for the manufactured goods of Asia.

    When that inflation RETURNS, we see Asians holding USD able to simply purchase American homes, businesses, etc – and then RENTING IT TO OUR STUPID SELVES.

    The GLOBALIST MENTALITY IS WEAKENING AMERICA BECAUSE WE ARE CONSUMING MORE THAN WE PRODUCE. Our factories gone – we have NOTHING BUT WELFARE TO SUPPORT US.

    This is the greatest wealth transfer in the history of man and it’s happening every single time we go shopping to buy ANYTHING. “Made in China” stamped on the bottom.

    DONALD J TRUMP IS MY CHOICE FOR PRESIDENT.

    WE ARE GOING TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

    (at the expense of the parasites leaching off of us)

    A HELLCAT in every driveway.

    If my comments offend you: THE FUTURE OF MY COUNTRY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR FEELINGS.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      The manufacturing output of America is significantly greater now than at any point in the past.

      We just do it with far fewer people.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      I hear ya, and I’m not offended by any of your comments, and I won’t tell you not to dream the good dream, but I personally just don’t see Trump winning the general election (as fun as that might be). Like, at all.

      The demographics just don’t add up: he may win white men, but he’ll lose badly to Clinton with women, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans. Romney’s 2012 numbers with these groups weren’t that hot, but Trump would kill (hopefully not a protester on live TV) for Romney’s paltry numbers.

      He’s had some success in the primaries (though 1,237 is by no means a sure thing), but primary election success does not automatically translate into general election success.

      It will be a new ballgame, and the fact of the matter is Trump will scare more general voters than he will inspire (if he doesn’t significantly tone down his message, which he can’t without betraying his base). At the end of the day, Americans don’t want to rock the boat, and they won’t.

      Hillary’s not my first choice (I’m not really a big fan of ANY Democratic candidate, past or potential) but the bottom line is she’s the more qualified shameless self-promoting millionaire (and yes, I don’t believe for a second Trump has anywhere near a billion dollars in net worth), and she’s the less scary choice for more people.

      Just my slightly more than two cents

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        There are those who are currently arguing that what you just outlined (ridiculous/scary/drive people to Hillary) is the entire reason he’s a candidate in the first place.

        In the end, all the swing votes will head right over to Hillary since the Republican Party allowed their representation to (once again) be someone un-electable. This time with the added benefit of raising racial tension.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          Sigh…
          I don’t know where this thinking comes from…but it is dead on wrong.
          But it is the chant of the media.
          And so it will be repeated and I understand mistaken for fact.
          The entire Trump run is based upon the anger of people fed up.
          And the fact that Obama won when he was at such a low point of his ratings just shows how inept the GOP is.
          Only this now hated group pf RINOs could put such a loser as MRomney up against such a wounded president.
          It was and is sad.

          But don’t think that those angry people are going to vote for Billary…another of the most hated and disliked in many a year.

          I mean, JesusHchrist…she is being really challenged by a formerly unknown!

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Disaffected Republicans won’t vote for Clinton or Sanders; they just won’t vote.

            Same result.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The boat is sinking and there aren’t enough lifeboats.

        Oh and despite the dozens if not hundreds of crimes committed by the Clinton couple, this is who I want on the nuclear button. This b*tch will almost certainly blow the world to hell.

        “Book says Hillary talks to dead

        Hillary Clinton
        First lady acknowledged
        ‘imaginary’ chats.

        June 22, 1996
        Web posted at: 11:55 p.m. EDT

        WASHINGTON (CNN) — First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton held imaginary conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi as a therapeutic release, according to a new book written by Bob Woodward, says a report in Sunday’s edition of The Chicago Sun-Times.

        The first lady declined a personal adviser’s suggestion that she address Jesus Christ, however, because it would be “too personal,” according to Woodward’s book, “The Choice.”

        The book, which is still to be published, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the Clintons, as well as Bob and Elizabeth Dole.

        Woodward says the adviser was Jean Houston, co-director of the Foundation for Mind Research, which he describes as a group that studies the psychic experience and altered and expanded consciousness.

        The book portrays Houston as an influential adviser who urged Mrs. Clinton to write her book, “It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us,” and in the process “virtually moved into the White House” for days at a time to help with revisions, the Sun-Times reported.

        Woodward suggests the White House hoped to keep Mrs. Clinton’s relationship with Houston and her talks with the dead a secret.

        “Most people in the White House did not know about Hillary’s sessions with Houston. … To some of the few who did, the meetings could trigger politically damaging comparisons to Nancy Reagan’s use of astrology,” Woodward wrote.

        Mrs. Clinton’s spokeswoman, Lisa Caputo, is quoted in the Sun-Times as saying the first lady’s interest in Houston is no secret.

        Woodward says anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, daughter of famed anthropologist Margaret Mead, joined her in sessions of imaginary conversations.

        Woodward is an assistant managing editor at The Washington Post. As a reporter, he helped break the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein.

        Mrs. Clinton herself wrote about her imaginary conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt in her June 10 column. She said she talked to Roosevelt about the role of a first lady.

        “She usually responds by telling me to buck up, or at least to grow skin as thick as a rhinoceros,” Mrs. Clinton wrote.

        In the column, she described Houston as an expert on philosophy and mythology. “(Houston) has shared her views with me on everything from the ancient Greeks to the lives of women and children on Bangladesh,” she wrote.

        Mrs. Clinton also acknowledged her relationship with Bateson.

        “She and I have spent hours discussing the ways in which women in different societies attempt to fulfill their responsibilities to their families, jobs and communities,” Mrs. Clinton wrote.”

        http://www.cnn.com/US/9606/22/hillary.book/

        Bear in mind this is BEFORE she suffered all of the brain damage and other health maladies she suffers from today. Still ready for oligarchy?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      / Owns a car built in Canada with an engine from Mexico and always heaps huge praise on the South Korean – built Genesis and Azera.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      If you think Trump is going to fix our trade problems you may be even dumber than I initially thought. There are undocumented workers cleaning his hotels RIGHT NOW.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Seriously please take a step back and stop using the newspeak. Whether they are working or not, they are illegal aliens. We do have laws, even if they are not enforced.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Trump is a blubbering blowhard (full of hot air), but at least he’s not evil like Cruz (well, not as evil).

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        And at least we are spared all that religious crap. Frankly, all of these candidates – on both sides – are such horrifically poor choices. Sure they appeal to the BTSR types and the shamelessly selfish HDC’s of the world, or the hard lefties, but what about the rest of us?????

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    +1 my brother! Well said and obviously from the heart. Make America great again!!

    Our large companies should not be allowed to exist to maximize their bottom line. They need to be taught, through tariffs, that there is a social need for them to build factories in the U.S. All of our tax dollars go to support the deadweight of the underemployed and unemployed.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    Not all “German Cars” are made in Germany. For instance BMW has a plant in South Africa Also their cars are more more expensive. Also while the labor wages might be more in Germany might the actual labor expenses be less because they don’t have to pay for health care insurance costs (state pays for it) and for the health care insurance costs of all the retired employees. The last part about health care costs is a guess on my part.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The UAW is completely powerless; they’ve spent the last three decades simply rearranging the deck chairs on their own Titanic.

    The M.O. of the UAW is this: the incumbents benefit from the latest contract, until they’re no longer incumbent (employed).

    From 2009-14, UAW membership grew 13%, but the US car market grew 58% in that same period.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Would be nice if the could improve the so so reliability and build quality of US cars. Reviewers here have already criticised the build quality of the ” halo” Mustang, that is to be sold here. Not a fan, look like a Celica gone wrong from a distance

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      “From 2009-14, UAW membership grew 13%, but the US car market grew 58% in that same period.”

      Not sure why there is supposed to be a correlation. 2009 was one of the worst years in auto sales in the US in recent history. Automation continues its march forward. And I’m sure UAW automakers were forced to hold on to a lot more workers than non union companies. This is a weird correlation to make.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    In Detroit, it cost about $28 an hour to build a car. (wages)
    In Blue Springs (Mississippi) it costs about $17 an hour to build a car. (wages)
    In Silao (Mexico) it costs about $4.65 an hour to build a car. (wages)

    The race to the bottom continues but one day people are going to wonder where did all the car buyers go? Either that or you’ll be able to finance your next vehicle for 12 years down to FICO 500.

    • 0 avatar
      Corollaman

      Then there is Cuba, where a worker makes about $20 USD per month. Ford will most likely move there next.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Legend has it some of the worlds most talented mechanics come from Cuba.

        • 0 avatar
          Corollaman

          True, they have to adapt whatever part they can find and install them in whatever car they may have, Russian motors in US classics, as an example.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Has anyone read the news that the US is at full employment? You’d never know it from the comments.

        • 0 avatar

          I came from Cuba and can assure you is not a legend. I’m not a mechanic but drove a ’59 Fairlane until 1994. No Russian engine, 100% stock. I can tell you it takes talented people to keep those cars running. When I first visited a mechanic here was appalled at how complex everything appears to them. On my first visit to a Ford dealership service advisor brought his boss to see my truck (Cuban engineered solution to something they had to replace close to 100 000 units under warranty) and I was offered a position on the spot. Trust me, I’m mechanically challenged for Cuban standards. For those worried about jobs taken from natives I did not take the position :)

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      It costs a machine $0/hr to build cars.

      Thankfully, as always, we will find other things to do.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    The Chevy Sonic production is moving from Lake Orion, MI to Mexico.

    I guess Ford didn’t want to feel left behind.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Many current variants of the Chevy Silverado, Ford F150 and ‘Murican CUVs are built in Mexico right now, partner.

      And you’ll soon be able to buy that Buick Envision and Cadillac CT6 made in and exported from China, Yankee.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Ford F150 is not built in Mexico. Cuatitlan used to build a Mexican market only F150 before their retooling for the Fiesta in 2008.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Shhhhhh, you’re ruining his narrative. Next you’ll tell me that Ford doesn’t derive 98% of its profits from the F-Series…

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            I cherry picked my domiciled plant for a reason ;)

            According to Jack’s latest article in the series, “No Fixed Abode,” the only vehicles sold in the future will be work trucks and ‘mobility solutions’ for the dying boomers and broke as f*ck gen X’ers and Y’ers. So at least me and the Mexicans will still have auto assembly jobs.

            I’m going to finish my overtime shift and indiscriminately drink myself into a steeper depression than loath my financial spending habits later ($ which should have been spent on a kid rather than booze and a 2013 truck).

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            LAP is the place to be. DTP will always be there, but it is a beast to work at, at least for hourly guys.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Thanks, Tres.

          I stand corrected on the F Series. They did, in fact, move production BACK from Mexico to Ohio (Avon Lake?).

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            H56x (the F-650/750) was moved to OHAP for two reasons; 1) to make up for loss of E-Series volume, and 2) the dissolution of Blue Diamond as part of the messy divorce from Navistar.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Yup. H567 is in Avon Lake. Avon Lake will be running some P558 volume as well. Massive facility with insane capacity, facility-wise. GM had a ‘truck and bus’ group with a few plants that could run commercial trucks. Ford’s version of that would be OHAP and KTP. bball, I work at KTP, not LAP.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Consumers shopping cheap compact cars don’t know or care where they’re assembled. If it says “Ford”, it’s a US car regardless. If its says “VW”, it’s a “German car”. Toyota/Nissan/Subaru/Mazda/Honda, are all “Japanese cars”, no matter what you tell them. They’re mostly shopping to a *price* anyway.

    So pointless to assemble/build a compact Ford in the US, there’s not enough profits in them to justify.

    If it was a Mustang, F-series, Expedition, etc, a small percentage of potential buyers of these would balk at a “Mexico build”, but still the majority wouldn’t care to know where they’re built either way. Now these leave more than enough profits to justify a “USA build”.

    Ford didn’t build heavy trucks in Mexico, they were badge-engineered trucks made in Mexico by Navistar. All Ford truck are now built “in-house” and in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      ^^ This right here.

      Flag-wavers still seek the lowest price.

      I don’t hear anyone saying they’re willing to pay an extra $500-1000 for a US-made Focus, nor is anyone complaining about Ford’s record profits which helps their 401k mutual fund performance.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The F650 and F750 were not badge engineered trucks built by Navistar. They were the result of the Blue Diamond joint venture. The Frames were shared as were some suspension and initially some engine choices. The respective cabs were all designed/built by Ford if the emblem was in and oval shape or by Navistar if the emblem was in the shape of a diamond.

      Fact is that among MD trucks there are a lot of components that are common and produced by 3rd parties.

      The 650 and 750 are now built in the US but still certain components are outsourced and you’ll still find them on Internationals among other MD trucks.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    These are not the kind of jobs Americans should aspire to.

    Learn math. Learn how to write code. Learn a job that exercises you from the neck up. Demand that our education system produce students with those capabilities.
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      You can’t build an economy out of 150 million managers and engineers. Someone has to feed them and clean up after them.

      At the end of the day the service economy is made up of servants.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I agree. Even the people at the bottom of the educational curve need jobs. It does us no good to have them on welfare. My grandfather may not be very educated, but he was able to raise six kids on a Ford assembly plant salary.

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        Hey, not all factories are moving overseas either. I’m talking about general trends and the general direction we need to move as a country if we want to preserve a certain lifestyle, or the “American dream”, if you will.

        I interview tech people every week. I can tell you, virtually none of them are American, in the traditional sense. For the most part, they are from China or India. Why? Because math is hard, and our students are too busy playing fantasy football and video games to bother taking advanced mathematics.
        .
        .

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          there’s a difference between being able to hammer out code, and being able to intelligently architect software.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I’m having a hard time buying in to the idea that Indian workers are superior. I’m in the mortgage business, and my company tried outsourcing to an Indian outfit. At first we all figured it was our collective backsides, but we found out quickly that these guys were dismal failures. They were aces at reciting underwriting guidelines, or doing things like calculating income, for sure. But then there were cases like my favorite, which involved a “director” (i.e., mid-level manager) at Exxon. These guys took from his title that he OWNED Exxon, and (not making this up) asked for Exxon’s corporate tax returns. No amount of explanation to these fellas would budge them off their hilarious quest for Exxon’s corporate returns.

          And then there was the language barrier. Just because English is widely used in India doesn’t mean it’s used well. When they wanted you to do something, they would ask you to “do the needful.”

          So…good at facts and figures? Check. Useless at anything that invovled working with others? Check. Hilarious failure? Check, check, check.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            maybe my perception is skewed, but it seems like so much teaching over there is rote memorization of “this is how you do this, and this is how you do that.” And very little on concepts like “this is how this *works,* and this is *why* you do this and that.”

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            The reason why the H1-B visa is so much in demand that corporations/CEOs want to keep down the price of labor (notwithstanding offshoring or “wage-fixing” – which is what several tech giants did in Silicon Valley).

            Disney had American tech workers but were having them train their H1-B replacements.

            Only reason was $$$.

          • 0 avatar

            Kindly do the needful. I only heard that from India! Company I work for had tech support there. As far as I can remember in 2 years they never solved a problem and never escalated a single support ticket (to look “better”). They would leave a client having issues for 10 days until a very irritated customer reached me through the 800 number… I feel better being awakened at 2 AM and providing support myself than having them as “backup”. I suggested leaving them to answer a phone listed under “How is my driving?”

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    When shopping for my next used Toyota, it has to have a J at the beginning of the VIN

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      There’s nothing wrong with the Tacomas built here (mine was built in San Antonio), but I don’t know anything about the ones built in Baja California. Also, I didn’t realize until recently that 4Runners are still built in Japan. When the 2003 redesign came out, with its Americanized styling, I assumed it was built somewhere in the US or Canada. But nope, they’re still coming from Japan.

      When I met my wife, she had a ’92 Corolla base sedan, built at the NUMMI plant in Fremont. The only real problem parts were the GM-supplied items, like the crappy Delco alternator.

      • 0 avatar
        Corollaman

        Some of the best Toyotas have been built here in Ky and Cali. My NUMMI built Corolla has been more reliable and durable than my Japan built Camry.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Ford has had a plant in Hermosillo, Sonora for a long time. Why are they building this plant in SLP? More available labor there?

  • avatar
    mason

    RIP UAW.

    Hola MAW.

  • avatar
    TomHend

    Mexico is a Narco-State, I wonder how much Ford had to pay the drug cartels to get the factory permits….

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      vs. Detroit?

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Some of the best, hardest working people we use for construction are Mexicans (legally here, AFAIK). I’ve made friends with some of these guys, and they’re genuinely great people.

      These guys, for the most part, work their a$$es off, and then send 50% or more of their paychecks to their families in Mexico.

      They also do work that MOST AMERICANS REALLY DO NOT WANT TO DO (try to get Americans to lay down asphalt in 100°+ heat, 6 days a week (100°+ heat even at night, btw).

      WITH THAT SAID, Mexico IS an incredibly corrupt and partially failed Narco State, and I wouldn’t go there again voluntarily because of the sadistic gangs that are out of control and the ruthless & completely corrupt Mexican cops, politicians and judges that make Mexico a bad joke of a nation, that unfortunately punishes its own, mostly innocent citizenry the harshest and most directly (they’re captive), by the way.

      We had a vacation planned to Cancun, I read some comments by Tres, and sure enough, narco violence has even spread to the formerly poshest areas of Cancun and other nice beach areas, with kidnappings, assassinations and brutal street violence infecting formerly great areas – so we canceled that noise.

      And the cops are as bad as the gangs.

      It’s very sad.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Well said.

        And we should keep in mind what is driving all this drug violence and corruption: American demand for illegal drugs. We are always so quick to blame our problems on people from other countries, when the reality is that we are often a plague on them.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        As I understand it, Mexican cops either aren’t paid, or are paid so poorly that they have to make a living off graft.

        Silly system…and easy to fix. When you have actual, enforceable laws against public servants being on the take, and pay them a decent wage, corruption becomes far less of an issue.

        (Personally, I’d like to see members of Congress paid $1 million a year each for this reason…the extra money spent would be a drop in the bucket budget wise, and when you’re already rich legally, payola becomes a lot less attractive. I’m sure people will vehemently oppose this idea out of nothing more than (current) hatred of elected officials…)

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I might be wrong…but the math should show the increase in American jobs by Ford this past year were indeed large.
    Yes..the number of jobs or the percentage of jobs in Mexico will show big…but the real number of increased US higher paying jobs by Ford are nice.
    The big picture is in real, total job increases.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      The longest stretch of private sector job growth in American history.

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        “The longest stretch of private sector job growth in American history.”

        That’s one way to spin it.

        The stretch may be long, but the growth rates are low compared to most of Obama’s predecessors. Look it up. Nixon, Reagan, Johnson and Clinton all had higher net job growth in the first six years of their presidencies compared to Obama, and with lower baseline populations.
        .
        .

  • avatar
    Mikein08

    This is why I buy Nissans and Hondas – they’re made right here in the
    USofA. Too bad Ford doesn’t want to do that.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Nissan and Honda don’t have to contend with the UAW. Ford does.

      There was an interesting article on Yahoo re this Ford expansion in Mexico, “The UAW got what they deserved” or a title to that effect. Look it up.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      More Fords are assembled in the USA than Nissans and Hondas combined. Put down that crack pipe.


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